The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team every Baltimore Ravens fan should always be keeping an eye on. There is not one team more important to focus on in the NFL. As Ravens fans we rejoiced when we knew that they would join us on the outside looking in but what exactly was their story this year? To find out we had Quinton Clapper of cover32 Pittsburgh Steelers answer some end of the year questions…
Who was the one person this year that had the most positive impact on your team’s final season record?
Definitely Ben Roethlisberger. He had a fantastic season and played all 16 games, something he’s only done once before. Without his veteran leadership and desire to win, I believe the season would have gone very differently than 8-8. It’s nice to have the guy back there who’s playoff tested and won two Super Bowls. That guy knows how to win, hates losing and will do anything to succeed. Unfortunately he doesn’t play defense, or this team would probably still be playing deep into January.
Who is the most overrated player on your team and why?
This is a tough one. No one likes to answer that. Oh, geez. You know, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s Maurkice Pouncey. Certainly he’s an All Pro center, but is his production really that high over others? I mean, Fernando Velasco filled in beautifully for Pouncey after Pouncey went down Week 1. Then, when Velasco got hurt, Cody Wallace did a fine job. I don’t think the running game would have been any different statistically if Pouncey had been in there and Ben wasn’t sacked all that much in the final eight games. Pouncey wasn’t even a part of that. I understand that he’s a very good center, but maybe, just maybe, he’s a tad overrated.
What is your overall feeling on the job done by your team’s entire coaching staff?
I think the staff did fine after midseason. I think they might have entered last offseason and the beginning of this season poorly. I don’t think they’ve drafted well the past couple of years and they definitely didn’t have the game plans needed to beat some “easy” teams during that 0-4 start. But after going 2-6 I think they were coaching for their jobs and did well in doing that. So overall, I’d have to grade them much like their team’s record: average. I’ll give them a C. Enough to stick around, but enough to get those 2014 seats a little warm.
Which side of the ball do you think made the most progress as a unit in 2013?
Offense, offense, offense. Roethlisberger was awesome, the emergence of Le’Veon Bell was refreshing and Antonio Brown had a killer season. Couple that with an above average year for Jerricho Cotchery (10 touchdowns!) and another productive outing by the always dependable Heath Miller and the offense did just fine this year. Oh, and don’t forget about that offensive line. They really stepped it up!